Photoshoot in night city
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A few days ago I organized my first photo meeting on Meetup.com! This is a website where you can create a group and invite people to your events, since the launch of my blog I want to meet people and share my knowledges about photography, the creation of my Meetup was for me the way to achieve this desire.
Click to join my Meetup page !
For this first meeting I decided to tackle a rather difficult subject that is the portrait at the end of the day and at night using the lights of the city. In this article I will explain what we did, and how we made the photos. I hope you will learn a lot!
Our model was Rukana, I had a photoshoot with her a few weeks ago and 7 participants answered the call. The great to me was the diversity of people who joined me, people who come from all over the world but living in Japan, since only a few months like me, or for several years!
We met in Tsukishima at 5pm, a district of Tokyo that has kept its old houses and buildings, the people of Tsukishima don’t like buildings, that’s why we can’t see any of them. At the end of the day one of the students invited a part of the group to eat Monja which is the local specialty.
We started to take photos while the sun was still beating hard enough, the idea in this moment of the day, is to go in a place in the shade, ideally under trees to have the foliage in blurred background, and have beautiful contrasts between the background and the model.
It’s important to know that if your model is in shadow, but if the background is too bright, the contrast will be terrible, make sure that the brightness of both is similar, be careful that the model is at least more exposed than the background.
Regarding the settings, I stayed all the way to f / 1.4, with an average speed of 1/125 ° then I managed the brightness with the ISO. It’s good to always have in mind which setting you have at anytime, and don’t change it too much, otherwise your series will not be homogeneous.
It’s the same thing with retouching, it’s good have a base and change the exposure, the balance of white. In this way your series will be homogeneous in terms of blur, colors and contrasts.
The small sunny streets
At this moment the sun was starting to go down and we went to the small streets that cross the main alley of Tsukishima. The mistake not to commit at this moment of the day, is to go in a dark corner, you must find a place where the light is still present, otherwise there will be shadows that will not put the model in a good value, the goal is to make sure that the face is clear and easily distinguish the arms and the legs.
Use everything around you, and do not hesitate to use it, for example a scooter, or a door that comes out of the ordinary in the background. Ask your model to take control of the space, use the surroundings or walk naturally.
The end of the afternoon rings its hour, the lights of the city began to illuminate the main street and the narrow streets. We will now see how to master these lights which are quite complicated to manage because they come mainly from the top, so it will often happen that the face of the model is in the shade.
So I made sure that the lights fit well the model by asking her to make some head movements until it becomes interesting.
Look if there are lights coming from the side, I'm thinking for example of restaurants, shops, automatic lights. I insist on the fact that it’s necessary to ensure well coordinated poses with the surrounding lights, this is the key to have beautiful photos!
In the last part, the night was almost there, the sky was dark blue, you have to enjoy it because this atmosphere remains only 10-15 minutes before it becomes totally black. You can take advantage of this moment to use the sky as background, here I used the communications cables to strengthen the framing.
In the small streets you will usually have small lights difficult to manage, but in the main streets the street lights cover a larger area, which will release some backgrounds and so you can integrate your model in an environment.
To close this session I noticed an interesting shadow to create a frame in the frame. Here the light is quite strong and focused, it's really interesting because the model can be well lit and the shadows are hard.
This is where this article ends, thank you for reading it! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions for articles or if you have any questions about Meetups.